My Brilliant Career

My Brilliant Career is a 1979 Australian period drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong, and starring Judy Davis, Sam Neill, and Wendy Hughes. Based on the 1901 novel of the same name by Miles Franklin, it follows a young woman in rural, late-19th-century Australia whose aspirations to become a writer are impeded first by her social circumstance, and later by a budding romance.


In 1897 in rural Australia, Sybylla, a headstrong, free-spirited young woman, dreams of a better life to the detriment of helping run her family's country farm. Considered a larrikin by her family, Sybylla dreams of having a career in writing or the performing arts. Her parents, upset by her notions of grandeur and believing her to be stalling her life, inform Sybylla that they can no longer afford to keep her in the household. They send her to board with her wealthy maternal grandmother in hopes of teaching her socially accepted manners and behaviour.